Effector Frame

Utility fog limb extension tech

effector frame
Image from Steve Bowers
A nearbaseline human demonstrates the GL-class effector frame, used for repairs in microgravity

Type of handtech device using utility fog based 'limbs'. Often used by sophonts working in non-angelnet conditions to generate a variable number of limbs, 'smart' anchor lines, grippers, etc.

A basic effector frame (sometimes also called a fog-frame) consists of a multi-strap harness and pack that is worn around a sophont's torso or equivalent and adjustable bands that fit around each forelimb and calf (or equivalent). The bulk of the pack and each limb unit are made up of utility foglets optimized for the environment they are expected to work in (atmosphere of some particular temperature and pressure, vacuum, underwater, etc.).

When activated, the effector frame interfaces with the user's DNI and exoself and, over the course of a few tens of seconds, downloads a series of skill modules and sensory augmentations allowing them to effectively operate the frame and its ability to generate anything up to several dozen limbs, of various sizes, simultaneously. After initial activation, the user may don or remove the frame at will, with no need re-download the skill modules. Interface after initial system setup typically takes less than two seconds in the average nearbaseline.

When in use, the pack assembly on the effector frame reconfigures under the users control to extrude a number of limbs created out of linked utility foglets. Limbs can vary in size and number from a few larger and stronger effectors, to a large number of smaller and weaker (but much more dexterous) ones. Larger limbs can split apart into smaller while smaller limbs can combine into larger as required. Sensors in the foglets of each limb provide a range of inputs including visual, auditory (both passive and active sonar), tactile, and real time chemical sensing and analysis. These inputs work in concert with the downloaded augmentation software to allow the user to employ the information gathered by the foglets as effectively, and as comfortably as they normally use their natural senses. The various limb units of the frame can also extrude foglets as required and are generally used to do such things as hold onto extra tools, provide yet more 'hands' when required (either in general or for close in work), or anchor the user in place when operating in a free fall or neutral buoyancy situation.

Optional effector frame features include the ability to detach and operate portions of the utility fog system remotely, operate multiple frames simultaneously, and interface with and operate non-frame drones and bots of various sizes and capabilities if the situation requires it.

Effector frame systems may also be integrated into spacecraft, installations, and habs of varying dimensions ranging from meters to millions of kilometers across.

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Development Notes
Text by Todd Drashner
Initially published on 31 October 2014.